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The Gale

Tonight the Wind drives at well over thirty

Through the streets of Bristol,

Tossing coins of dustbin lids,

Out through Bedminster,

On over the fields,

Past Dundry and past Felton,

Tickling his feet on the hedges,

Combing his hair on the elms,

Breaking the sound barrier over the coast,

Armed to the teeth with bullets of rain,

Careering in the sky,

Firing on houses and rooftops and trees,

And bombing the waves in the rough brown seas.

Angry on the water,

Bad-tempered on the land,

Gathering snow in the mountains of Wales,

On the beaches of Weston, gathering sand.

Hurling, attacking, beating, sweeping,

Howling round the Mendip Hills,

Like playing cards dealing the roof tiles

Of Churchill’s ancient farms and barns.

Then relenting, recanting, bewildered, weeping,

Sulking by the rocks in Burrington Combe.

And his elder sister, Silence,

Calm on the stony peak of Dolebury,

Shakes her head and smiles.